Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has named Aaron Nola the Opening Day starter, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. The Phillies open the season on March 29 in Atlanta against the Braves.
Nola, 24, had an impressive 2017 campaign, finishing with a 3.54 ERA and a 184/49 K/BB ratio across 168 innings. Thus far, he has lived up to the billing when the Phillies selected him in the first round — seventh overall — of the 2014 draft.
This will be Nola’s first Opening Day start. He was a bit of a no-brainer for the Opening Day honor as the other members of the starting rotation — including Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta — have had inconsistent results to date.
Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.
Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.
Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.